To make paper from wood wood first must be transformed into pulp. However current pulping techniques require high amounts of energy or large quantities of wood and can result in poor quality paper. The inventors previously developed an efficient method for producing pulp from wood chips by pretreating the chips with oxalic acid and sodium bisulfate (see WARF reference number P00342US). This processing step required little time and improved both the economics of the pulping process and the properties of the finished paper product. UW-Madison researchers now have improved their previous technology by using derivatives of oxalic acid preferably diethyloxalate (liquid) and dimethyloxalate (solid). These derivatives work better than oxalic acid in the pulping process. They can be added to the wood chips as dry components and then treated with steam. Technology Applications: •Paper manufacturing
•Reduces energy consumption in generating thermomechanical pulp •Improves paper strength and optical properties •Reduces the amount of chemicals needed for chemical pulping •Sugars can be extracted before or after the refining process and used to create additional value-added products. •In contrast to oxalic acid which works best when applied as a solution in water these derivatives can be applied as dry components. •Process is suitable for materials including hardwoods softwood chips recovered paper or agricultural residues.